Is Polyurethane Dangerous to Your Health?

polyurethane-dangerous-health Credit: Olger Fallas/CC-BY-2.0

Workers involved in the manufacturing and production of polyurethane are at the greatest risk of being exposed to the effects of the chemical. Polyurethane is made from a reaction of polyol with diisocyanates or polymeric isocyanate. Diisocyanates can cause allergic reactions and irritations to the skin, nose, throat and eyes.

There are several steps in the production of polyurethane in which workers may be exposed to its potential health risks. These include the production of raw materials, the production of polyurethane from these raw materials and the final products. Polyurethane is found in a variety of industrial products, including foams in mattresses, building insulation, liquid coatings and paints.